Wisconsin Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – December 25, 2020
Antigo Team / November
Warden Curt Butler assisted the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department and Pine River Fire Department with a report of a missing hunter. Warden Butler was able to assist the search team using his knowledge of the area to eventually locate the hunter, who was in fine shape.
Warden Kelly Crotty, of Florence County, concentrated on hunting enforcement during November, taking enforcement actions for violations including illegal baiting, shooting from roadways, and ATV/UTV violations.
Warden Brad Dahlquist, of Antigo, investigated several baiting/feeding related complaints in Langlade County during November. Complaints ranged from individuals hunting deer with archery equipment and firearms over illegal bait along with landowners illegally placing bait prior to the gun deer season. Enforcement actions were issued for placing/hunting over unauthorized bait on public and private lands.
Warden Pat Novesky, of Tomahawk, responded to an incident regarding a hunter who shot an antlerless deer from his vehicle. The hunter gathered the deer, and, on his way from the scene, dropped his phone at the scene. Novesky could hear voices coming from the phone as it lay in the woods because it was set to a scanner application to monitor local law enforcement radio traffic. Upon the shooter returning to the scene to pick up the lost phone, it was determined the person had shot the deer from his vehicle and phoned a friend who had the proper authorizations to come and take possession of the deer. That friend had been in the area and saw that Novesky was just up the road investigating and had assisted the shooter with concealing the deer back at camp prior to the warden’s arrival.
Peshtigo / November
Warden Jacob Cross, of Shawano, investigated two baiting complaints on two different properties. Cross was able to locate bait and an illegal gravity feeder on the one property. Later in the day, Cross noticed a vehicle parked at one of the baited sites. Cross contacted a hunter who had placed mineral, corn, and apples out for the purpose of hunting.
Warden Cross investigated a complaint of a loan-and-borrow licensing issue. Cross contacted the person in question who had harvested a buck by bow on opening weekend of the archery season, and then harvested a buck under another person’s license at the end of October. Cross also found that the person committed the same offense in 2018.
Wardens Jacob Cross, of Shawano, and Mark Schraufnagel, of Clintonville, were following up on a complaint of illegal feeding of deer. The wardens were able to contact a person who was hunting without a license and who was also in possession of a large amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. The wardens learned the hunter also hunted in 2019 without a license and was involved in a loan-and-borrow archery case of an 8-point buck. The wardens found another hunter in the group who was hunting without a license. They took enforcement action on both hunters with multiple violations. The Shawano County Sheriff’s Department took enforcement action regarding the marijuana possession.
Wardens Cross and Schraufnagel received a call of shots from the roadway after shooting hours. They were able to contact two hunters who shot from the roadway. It was found the hunters had a loaded gun on the ATV, shot from the roadway, did not have a valid antlerless tag for that area, and multiple other ATV violations.
Warden Clark Delzer, of Shawano, observed occupants of a vehicle shining after legal hours. Delzer stopped the vehicle and found that the occupants were in possession of a firearm. It was found that the suspects had shined and shot two deer earlier in the season. One of the occupants was involved in shining and shooting years ago.
Warden Delzer responded to a gunshot fired before archery season. Delzer located the shooter and found that he was a felon and had shined while in possession of firearms with another felon the night before. Both firearms were found still loaded in the vehicle, along with an 8-point buck that had been shined and shot. Another occupant of the residence was arrested for a probation violation during the contact. A follow-up visit to the felon’s residence revealed him to be in possession of a stolen wood splitter, as well as an additional 8-point buck that he shot out of his vehicle from the road.
Warden Delzer contacted a hunter who drove a tractor with a brush hog off his land onto state land and had mowed down approximately a quarter mile of brush and saplings. The party had been cited for the same violation 13 years ago.
Warden Delzer assisted the Menominee tribal conservation department in a case involving the seizure of a set of locked antlers from a local taxidermist. A felon unlawfully harvested the locked bucks on the reservation, tagged them with another tribal member’s tags, and sold them as legal harvests to the unknowing taxidermist.
Warden Paul Hartrick, of Oconto Falls, investigated a complaint of an individual shooting deer from a combine while harvesting corn. Hartrick found the suspect had discharged his firearm from the combine while not wearing sufficient blaze orange.
Warden Tim Werner, of Crivitz, reports a poaching investigation from the 2018 deer season has concluded in Marinette County Circuit Court. The defendant was convicted of hunting deer with the aid of artificial light and possessing a firearm as a felon. The defendant was sentenced to 18 months in prison, five years of extended supervision, a $1,000 fine, and three years revocation of DNR licenses.
Green Bay Team / November
During the gun-deer season, warden Amanda Kretschmer, of Green Bay, received a call of excess baiting on private land. Kretschmer found two large piles of corn in excess of 2 gallons in front of a permanent deer stand and a ground blind. Kretschmer contacted one of the property owners, who placed up to 50 pounds of corn between the permanent stand and ground blind on Thanksgiving morning. The owner did hunt from the ground blind over the bait the following afternoon.
Lower St. Croix Team / October
Warden Paul Sickman, of St. Croix County, responded to a plane crash in New Richmond, which resulted in subsequent fuel leakage. The leakage was minimal, and the airport manager did not want any further action taken.
Warden Sickman investigated a duck hunter who observed what he believed to be a sick deer, which the hunter then shot and killed before obtaining approval. The hunter then called to advise wardens of the incident. The deer did have growths on its body, but otherwise looked healthy. The hunter was educated on proper procedures during such incidents and was warned.
Lower Chippewa Team / November
Wardens Jake Bolks, of Eau Claire County, Jamie McDermid, of Dunn County, and Kevin Christorf, of Clark County, investigated an illegal deer hunting complaint that involved multiple relatives who initially attempted to conceal information. The wardens found one person shot a trophy buck from the road while in a UTV. Violations included unregistered deer, illegal group deer hunting, over-bagging on bucks, providing incorrect information to the DNR and obstructing a warden.
Wardens Bolks and Christorf found many violations within a hunting group near Augusta during the opening morning of the gun-deer season. Violations included illegal baiting sites, multiple illegal treestands left on state property, unmarked treestands and cameras on state land, illegally cutting shooting lanes on state land (timber theft and damage to a natural resource), underaged operation of ATV on ATV route, two juveniles hunting by themselves with no hunter safety certificates, no gun deer hunting license, not wearing blaze orange, obstructing a warden, falsifying DNR records and illegal group deer hunting. Multiple citations were issued to the group.
Wardens Bolks, Ryan Lowry, of Eau Claire County, and Christorf responded to a hunter who claimed to have shot a bear in self-defense while deer hunting. An investigation into the hunting location and where the bear was shot showed that the hunter was not in any danger. The hunter admitted he was not actually in fear of his life, and did it, “just because.” Enforcement action taken.
Wardens Kurt Haas, of Taylor County, Kyle Halverson and Christorf followed up on illegal deer hunting complaint near Cadott. The wardens found that an individual was shining and shooting deer in the Cadott area, and the individual shot at multiple deer from a roadway on property where he did not have permission.
Warden Christorf followed up on a complaint of hunting deer near the roadway in northern Clark County during the gun-deer season. He found a hunter to be hunting within 50 feet of the road, shooting toward/along/across road, and trespassing.
Wardens Adam Hanna and Ryan Lowry completed an illegal deer hunting investigation and found that a convicted felon revoked of his hunting privileges shot a deer with a .22 during the archery season. The person also was found to be hunting without a license. The person had removed the back straps and left the rest of the carcass to rot.
Warden Hanna investigated an illegal hunting complaint concerning approximately 10 illegally harvested deer. The deer were harvested in the wrong antlerless unit, were not registered as required, and the individuals were loaning and borrowing harvest authorizations.
Wardens Bolks and Christorf completed multiple investigations throughout the month into hunters who harvested more than two bucks with their bows. They found that, in multiple cases, the hunters were shooting more than one buck and then registering them on other hunter’s accounts, usually relatives who did not hunt. The wardens took multiple enforcement actions.
Dodgeville Team / October
After receiving complaints of an individual operating an unlicensed septic business, warden Pearl Worden investigated a local event where the business was reported to have provided portable toilets. The business owner was interviewed and determined to have serviced the equipment without a license and with unapproved equipment. The individual was using a generator to power a pump to clean the portable toilets. The septic was pumped into an old plastic grease receptacle in the back of the individual’s truck. When not in use, the plastic receptacle was stored in her yard. Several warnings were issued, as well as two citations.
Warden Worden contacted a group of hunters in an area where a swan had been shot and fell to the marsh. Two hunters admitted shooting at and hitting the swan. A search to find the swan was unsuccessful.
Warden Worden received a report of an individual shooting at raptors in the Castle Rock area on a property used to raise pheasants. During a tour of their pheasant rearing area, Worden observed two double coil leg-hold traps on top of the highest posts for the pheasant enclosure that were intended to trap raptors. The manager said the pole traps were for owls and admitted to shooting at chicken hawks several times over the previous month.
Warden Dave Youngquist came upon a UTV flipped over in the middle of road. The driver and the passenger were wearing their seatbelts and avoided injuries. The driver admitted he had four beers and the UTV flipped over because he was doing some doughnuts in the road intersection on the wet pavement. He was arrested for OWI and the blood test results showed a 0.197% blood alcohol content.
Warden Youngquist followed up on a complaint in which the landowner Illegally placed fly poison to kill raccoons. There were five dead raccoon and two dead opossums within 30 feet of the pesticide container.
Rock River Team / October
Dodge, Jefferson, Rock Counties
Warden Austin Schumacher, of Janesville, while on patrol during the pheasant season opener, encountered a group of six hunters on DNR lands. Schumacher found two of the individuals did not have hunting approvals necessary for pheasant hunting.
Wardens Schumacher, and Wade Romberg, of Adams County, completed an investigation involving an individual from Rock County committing several archery deer hunting violations in Adams County. This case stemmed back to 2019 when the individual was found guilty of several violations amounting to over $1,500 of citations being issued and several deer mounts being seized. Just recently, it was found this same individual was involved in illegal hunting activity in Adams County.
Warden Schumacher contacted two individuals returning to a boat launch after fishing portions of the Rock River. It was found that one of the individuals was fishing without a valid Wisconsin license and the other was in violation of several probation rules.
Warden Schumacher, in conjunction with the town of Beloit Police Department, investigated a complaint involving hunter harassment between waterfowl hunting groups on the Rock River.
Warden Schumacher investigated an incident involving a pheasant hunter striking a vehicle on a roadway with several BBs while pursuing a pheasant.
Warden Kyle Johnson, of Janesville, responded to a report of BBs raining down on a house along the Rock River. Upon arriving on the scene, Johnson located a group of duck hunters nearby. After making contact, one individual was found to have hunted for ducks without any of the required hunting licenses.
Wardens Johnson and Joseph Hodge contacted an individual who was found to be hunting waterfowl during the closed season. Upon contact, it was discovered the hunter had harvested three wood ducks.
Wardens Johnson and Hodge contacted a group of individuals for a fishing license at Clear Lake. One of the individuals was found to not have a valid fishing license.
Wardens Johnson and Hodge observed a person operating a PWC on the Rock River below the Indianford Dam without wearing a PFD. The operator was also found to not have valid registration.
Warden Johnson investigated a treestand being left up on state property illegally. During the investigation, Johnson interviewed a person who admitted to harvesting a small-antlered buck and failed to register it. The person also admitted to leaving the stand up on state property even though the person admitted to knowing it was illegal to do so.
Wardens Johnson and Alex Brooks, of Jefferson, contacted occupants of a vehicle that was parked in a DNR public land parking area during evening hours. Upon contact, the wardens detected a strong odor of burned marijuana and observed drug paraphernalia in the vehicle. The individual admitted to smoking marijuana and having marijuana in the vehicle.
Warden Johnson observed an individual target shooting at the DNR’s Evansville State Wildlife Area. Target shooting on DNR property in Rock County is illegal and enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Johnson assisted wardens Jake Donar, of Dane County, and Ben Gruber by interviewing a person who assisted with stealing a harvested antlered buck from a vehicle. The person was found to have hunted for deer without a license.
Wardens Alex Brooks and Adam Strehlow were on patrol near Princes Point Wildlife Area and found an individual who had expired boat registration and failed to transfer the boat into their name.
Warden Brooks came in contact with an individual who had shot a pheasant during the season opener and determined the individual had been hunting without a required small game license.
Warden Brooks contacted a group of waterfowl hunters near Beaver Dam and found one of the hunters did not have a state waterfowl stamp, as required.
Warden Brad Burton, of Beaver Dam, investigated an issue involving drivers operating vehicles in a reckless manner at a DNR boat launch. One of the individuals got his truck stuck in the ditch and damaged DNR property while engaged in this dangerous driving behavior. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Ryan Mannes, of Horicon, responded to a report of stranded duck hunters on the Horicon Marsh. Mannes responded with a boat and eventually located the hunters in the darkness. They were towed to shore.
Warden Mannes located a hunter hunting illegally in the Theresa Marsh Wildlife Area refuge. Wardens made contact and questioned the hunter about where he had been hunting. The hunter admitted to hunting in the closed refuge and that he had walked past several “refuge” signs that day.
Warden Mannes was patrolling the Sinnissippi Public Hunting Grounds in Dodge County and checked two duck hunters coming back from hunting on the lake. Mannes found that one of the hunters did not have a plug in his shotgun, which is required when waterfowl hunting. The hunter first stated he had broken his gun while out hunting that day and was unable to reinsert the plug back into his shotgun. After further discussion, the hunter admitted he had lied, had not had a plug in his gun for the past week, and had hunted for ducks several times during that time period.
Madison Team / November
Wardens Ryan Caputo and Ben Gruber, both of Madison, contacted a person known to be baiting deer and leaving an illegal stand on state lands. In addition, wardens found the person had another baited site and was trapping without a license, trapping with illegal traps, failing to check traps daily and trapping with untagged traps.
Wardens Caputo and Gruber contacted a person who was hunting waterfowl after hours. During the contact, wardens found the hunter was in possession of lead shot.
Wardens Caputo and Gruber contacted two individuals who were hunting deer with a 20-gauge shotgun and slugs during the archery season. The two individuals had shot and hit a deer but were unable to recover it. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Henry Bauman and Jake Donar, both of Madison, took enforcement actions against several gun-deer hunters for placing and hunting from illegal stands on the Hook Lake State Wildlife Area and for failing to report deer harvests, as required. The wardens also took similar enforcement actions against another gun-deer hunter for placing and hunting over illegal bait on private property near Mt. Vernon on opening weekend.
Wardens Nick King, of Green County, and Donar observed the passengers of a vehicle using what appeared to be a spotlight to light a fields at approximately 2 a.m. King conducted a traffic stop on the individual. King and Donar found that the driver had been shining deer after legal shining hours while in possession of a loaded rifle.
Warden King worked with an Illinois conservation officer in investigating an Illinois resident who had shot a buck in Illinois. The deer was later found at a processor in Wisconsin with a doe tag attached to the carcass. Enforcement action was taken by the Illinois conservation officer.
Warden King investigated a call where a landowner had found multiple deer carcasses on his property near the landowner’s stand. King was able to locate the responsible party and enforcement action was taken.
Warden Paul Nadolski, of Portage, assisted the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department with two individuals parked in a DNR parking lot. Both had outstanding warrants and one was in possession of marijuana.
Warden Nadolski responded to a complaint of late shots being fired near Pardeeville. Nadolski found two persons in a field where they were gutting a deer while working in front of the headlights of their vehicle. It was found that the deer had been shot after hours.